Arianespace to launch the CSO-3 satellite with Ariane 6 for France’s CNES and DGA
Arianespace has signed the third CSO satellite’s launch services contract with the French CNES space agency.
Arianespace today announced the launch services contract signature with CNES for the CSO-3 satellite, which will be launched aboard the future Ariane 6 launch vehicle – in its A62 version – from the Guiana Space Center. This option already was included in the previously-signed launch contract for the CSO-1 and CSO-2 satellites on missions using the Soyuz launcher.
The CSO (Composante Spatiale Optique) is a very-high-resolution satellite system comprising several new-generation optical detection satellites. It is a follow-on to the current Helios II system, and will ensure the continuity of French intelligence based on very-high-definition images, while also improving detection capabilities.
The CSO system is being developed within the scope of MUSIS (Multinational Space-based Imaging System), a program conducted by the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement), which chose CNES as contracting authority to procure the satellites and launch services.
CNES also is prime contractor for the mission control and programming center, along with the satellites’ orbital positioning and routine operations, while the DGA is in charge of supplying the ground segment. CNES and the DGA are working as an integrated team in overseeing system integration.
CNES chose Airbus Defence and Space to build the satellites, with Thales Alenia Space producing the optical imaging instruments.
Following the contract signature, Stéphane Israël, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer said: “ We are very honored that the DGA and CNES have entrusted us with the launch of CSO-3 using our future Ariane 6 launcher. This latest institutional mission – the first for which France has chosen Ariane 6 – marks a further step forward in the confirmation of this new launcher for European institutional users.”
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 570 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.